With the holidays in the rear-view, Floridians are beginning to make travel plans for 2018. A new AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey shows that 83 percent of Floridians plan to take at least one vacation of three days or more this year, requiring overnight accommodations. While that would be three percentage points lower than those who traveled last year, there is still 10 percent of travelers who are still undecided about this year’s plans. View the survey
83% of Floridians plan take a vacation of 3 days or more in 2018. 10% are unsure
Last year, 86% took a vacation of 3 days or more
Most popular times to travel - Q2 (53%) and Q3 (49%)
Most popular vacations - city/major metro destination (34%), beach destination (30%), theme park (27%), and ocean/large cruise (26%).
Terrorism – Only 5% say they feel unsafe about traveling and would rather stay close to home due to recent events of terrorism and political unrest
“Strong economic growth led to a record number of holiday travelers last year, and we expect that momentum to carry into 2018,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Some of the harsh winter weather we have experienced could be the catalyst that drives more travelers to seek warm-weather destinations in the coming months.
“Looking ahead at trends this year, travel to Europe looks strong, thanks to a favorable exchange rate for Americans. Also, domestic travel continues to grow. Destinations like Florida and California are always popular. Meanwhile, Hawaii and Alaska are experiencing more advanced bookings than what we normally see this time of year.”
Although January and February are usually slower months for travel, things begin to pick up in March for spring break. More than half (55%) of travelers will take a spring break vacation of 3 days or more. That number is even larger among Millennials (80%).
“Spring Break has a reputation of being a time for students to go party with friends,” Evans continued. “While that is certainly true, more than half of millennials (61%) say they will travel with family. This is the time of year when cruises and beach hotels are booked solid, and things can get costly as a result. So spring travelers should make their plans now, to get the best options and price.”
Traveling during the summer is even more popular than spring. More than three-quarters (79%) of Floridians will take at least one summer vacation (requiring overnight accommodations), sometime between the Memorial and Labor Day holidays.
43% - 1 summer vacation
32% - 2-3 summer vacations
4% - 4-5 summer vacations
13% - Unsure
“Booking a vacation during the summer is similar to spring, in that beach destinations and cruises remain popular,” Evans continued. “However, travelers should not forget about hurricane season and consider purchasing travel insurance. Certain coverages can help offset non-reimbursable expenses. One of the requirements is that you purchase the policy before a storm is named.”
Most Travelers Undeterred by Terrorism
AAA’s survey reveals that only 5 percent of Floridians feel unsafe traveling and would rather stay close to home, amid concerns over terrorism and political unrest. While the overwhelming majority of Floridians would still travel, 65 percent would take certain precautions like maintaining a heightened sense of awareness (42%), avoid international travel (13%), and stay away from large crowds/events (10%). Fourteen percent of those surveyed say they simply do not travel enough for terrorism to be a concern. View the survey
“Acts of terrorism are certainly unpredictable, but travel insurance is one form of protection,” Evans continued. “Most travel insurance providers allow customers to cancel their trip if an act of terrorism occurred at their destination within 30 days of their scheduled arrival. Customers could then receive payment to offset their non-refundable trip costs. It’s important to note that this type of coverage does not extend to Travel Warnings issued by the U.S. State Department.”
Tips for Planning your 2018 Vacation
1. Book early – Booking early gives you both the luxury of selecting the best cruise cabin or a preferred seat on your flight, at a more competitive rate. As hotels, cruises, and flights fill-up, prices usually rise due to lower availability.
2. Use a travel agent – Not only can they advise you on where to go and what to do when you get there, but also hook you up with exclusive upgrades, find competitive pricing, and tell you what you need to know about your destination.
3. Consider travel insurance – When the unexpected happens, travel insurance can be your best friend. Hurricanes, flight cancellations, even illness while overseas could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. While travel insurance can vary in both coverage and price, you can find policies that reimburse you for health emergencies and/or out-of-pocket expenses due to a delayed/ canceled flight.
4. Know your destination – Are you traveling abroad? Can you bring your pet? Refer to the U.S. Department of State to find information regarding visa requirements, what you can bring, and detailed travel alerts and warnings.
About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Florida from October 10, 2017 – October 30, 2017. A total of 401 residents completed the survey. Results have a maximum margin of error of ± 5.4 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.4 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57.7 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.